September 10th, 2007
10:15 AM ET
11 years ago

Thompson calls for securing the borders

GREENVILLE, South Carolina (CNN) - Presidential hopeful Fred Thompson took on the issue of illegal immigration Monday, drawing loud applause from the crowd when he called for securing the nation's borders.

"Friends, there is a major disconnect between Washington and the people of this country," said Thompson, a former Tennessee senator. "There is no better example than this recent immigration fight. We are a nation of immigrants we all know that we all came from immigrants ... But we now get to decide who comes into our home. We haven't come to terms with the fact that a nation that cannot secure its borders will not remain a sovereign nation."

In this part of South Carolina, illegal immigration is a touchstone issue. South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham has suffered politically with some conservative Republicans for supporting this summer's failed immigration bill.

That political damage has partially extended to Thompson's rival for the Republican presidential nomination, Sen. John McCain, a friend and close ally of Graham in the Senate.

- CNN South Carolina Producer Peter Hamby

Filed under: Fred Thompson • South Carolina
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. David, Encinitas, CA

    I count five Thompson articles on the Ticker this morning – that's half of all articles. Granted, one is just a copy, but even so. Peter, while your writing is great as always, perhaps some more varied coverage would be appropriate? After all, we can only whine about Thompson for so long, and then the Ron Paul guy starts making his plugs which get really annoying!

    Perhaps a Clinton or Bush article to get us going?


    September 10, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  2. spinstopper

    At least someone is concerned about millions of illegals aliens coming across our borders every year. There's no global citizenship yet..

    September 10, 2007 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  3. Providence, RI

    Media is covering too much Thompson! It is like madness-thompson, thompson, thompson...Thompson is not that attractive candidate at all-he is a copy cat of current administration policies.

    September 10, 2007 11:23 am at 11:23 am |
  4. LEGAL in the USA

    ILLEGAL immigration should be at or near the top as far as issues facing this next administration. ILLEGAL immigration (in my opinion) trickles down to a lot of other issues. Like Health care, Higher insurance rates, Higher school taxes, Housing costs. We should not have a problem with people wanting to come to this country LEGALLY, but we can not keep footing the bill for the cost of having ILLEGAL immigrants taking over our stuff. From the sounds of it there are not a lot of politicians that want to take this issue head on.

    September 10, 2007 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. Michael, Alexandria VA

    Thompson... a day late and a dollar short. His stances sound too much like the current administration.

    The only person running for president that can change our broken government is John McCain.

    September 10, 2007 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. O. Echevarria, New York City, NY

    There is a great divide between D.C. and the issue of illegal immigration. It is so puzzling that our elected representatives refuse to deport or even punish those people who elect to enter our country illegally.

    What is Congress waiting for? Another 9/11 to hit the country again? This is unacceptable that Congress is literally allowing illegal immigration to run rampant in this country. It is painfully obvious that big business has its hand in this because if the border is secured, than all that cheap labor will not be made available.

    Let there be no mistake, I am for immigration, some of my best friends are immigrants from Africa and Asia. They came from places where conditions you couldn't fathom, but however, they went through the immigration process just like every other immigrant who applied to enter our country LEGALLY.

    The burden should not have to fall on the tax payer or the states to secure our national borders. If the Federal government does not want address the issue, than the States should take the initiative because waiting for Congress to do anything is like waiting for Hell to freeze an inch. And waiting for Hell to freeze will more likely happen first.

    September 10, 2007 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  7. xtina chicago IL

    I agree with Fred Thompson that we Americans get to decide who comes into our country. I mean, is their anyone who thinks it's a good idea for ANYONE to enter our country illegally?

    September 10, 2007 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  8. RA The Framing Wizard

    Former Senator Fred Thompson from Tennessee;

    You now have my attention; on illegal immigration and securing our nations borders.

    "Friends, there is a major disconnect between Washington and the people of this country,"

    Thompson’s statement is so monumentally true!

    Yes; we are a nation of immigrants from long ago before our laws and borders with those same immigrant families were searching for independence and our freedom from rule.

    Those very immigrants created them laws and borders (boundaries of lines); our descendent immigrant law makers.

    NOW! We have managed to keep our independence and freedoms using our laws.

    Mr. Fred Thompson;

    What is your plan to enforce them existing immigration laws too secure our borders from illegal immigration in states like Arizona, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah, which carry the largest populations of illegal immigrants?

    What is your plan to stop illegal immigrants from using our system of laws too their advantage of our tax dollars as descendent legal immigrants in our nation?

    What is your plan to control removal of the 12,000,000 plus illegal immigrants already settled here in our nation?

    I have already accepted the terms with the fact that a nation that cannot secure its borders will not remain a sovereign nation.

    Illegal aliens must be removed from the workplace so they will go home and Americans can move into there rightful place.

    Our law makers should be ashamed of the size of the illegal workforce population in this country – especially when millions of hard-working Americans have been pushed aside to make room for these illegal immigrant law breakers.

    I; myself would like to help who now gets to decide who comes into my home!

    September 10, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  9. nina Chattanooga TN

    I don't know much about this guy but finally a person who will take the right stance on illegals. When are the politicians gonna wake up and see we are at war here in our own country. In a few years if nothing is done about the illegal immigration issue it won't be america anymore. Americans will be a minority and mexian illegals will take over!! Wake up. Instead the politicians all want to wimp out and give amsesty. These people are not even trying to be american, they still hang their true country's flag in their front lawn. They protest for benefits when they have no right to protest in this country. I say just wait till the next protest and detain them all and send them home to their own country.

    September 10, 2007 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  10. Coach Haughton

    I think we need visual evidence of any terrorist coming from Mexico.

    Most illegal immigrants come here out of a need to do so. While this is wrong they have no other choice.

    If we have no problem with them coming here legally why not Create a way for them to do so. Remember Ellis Island?
    That will cost some money but it makes sense unless voters in South Carolina just dont like mexicans.

    September 10, 2007 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  11. RA The Framing Wizard LV, NV

    Coach Haughton:

    For one; we have legal laws now for people seeking to enter our country.

    Two: They do have a choice, just like all us Americans.

    Three: The US tax payers have already shelled billions or more in the last 35 years.

    Four: If you need facts of terrorist entering the USA form Mexico ask the CIA.

    Five: Yes, the USA remembers all about Ellis Island.

    September 10, 2007 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  12. Quinne Knoxville, TN

    Coach, wake son has arrested terrorists coming across the border 7 YEARS ago and currently is doing the same to those who have formed cells here in America, and there are MANY. He is a former border patrol agent and now a special agent for ICE. These guys want to KILL dummies like you too, you know.

    September 11, 2007 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  13. Chip Celina OH

    Put me in Coach!

    "Most illegal immigrants come here out of a need to do so. While this is wrong they have no other choice.

    If we have no problem with them coming here legally why not Create a way for them to do so."

    What does 'they have no other choice' mean?

    There actually is a full government agency (or two) dedicated to legal immigration, there is no need to 'create' anything. We could probably streamline the existing bureaucracy and save a few bucks.

    Have a good day,

    September 11, 2007 08:15 am at 8:15 am |
  14. fedupwithourgov't

    To Michael in VA:

    I hope you were joking when you said "only John McCain could fix our broken gov't"!

    McCain has mental issues, wants more war and more troops. Wants to hand the country over to the illegals. Had no spine in 2000 when Bush attacked him so badly. Can't manage his campagin but wants to run this country....

    McCain would be another Bush!!

    September 11, 2007 09:42 am at 9:42 am |
  15. Danny boy Tn

    20+ million not 12 million my

    September 11, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  16. Michael, Knoxville, Tennessee

    Fred Thompson is the king of speaking in broken generalities. When you actually get down to what he means, he more than often disappoints:

    FOX’s ALAN COLMES: “You don’t put up a fence, either, do you? Is that bad neighbor policy, put a fence up?”

    THOMPSON: “If it would work. I mean, I don’t know – that’s a technical problem. In this day and age, I would not think you would have to use bricks and mortar to get that job done.

    A fence is a technical matter, eh? Thompson also voted against increasing fines on employers who hire illegals and against an identification system that would allow employers to verify the legality of their employees while a US Senator.

    There are 3 guys who are good on the border (in this order).

    1) Tancredo
    2) Hunter
    3) Romney. –probably the only electable one

    All support the fence. All support ending the right to citizenship to those born here of illegal parents. All support biometric identification systems of one stripe or another (ask Thompson if he'll support that now...I suppose it will be another "technical" issue).

    September 13, 2007 04:26 am at 4:26 am |